Primary care is an important piece in the healthcare system that affects the downstream medical care of patients heavily. There are specific challenges in primary care as healthcare shifts from fee-for-service to population health management and medical home, focuses on cost savings and integrates quality measures. We consider the primary care unit at a large academic center that is facing similar challenges. In this work we focus on the imbalance in workload, which is a growing regulatory burden and directly concerns any staff in primary care. It can result in missed opportunities to deliver better patient care or providing a good work-environment for the physicians and the staff. We consider the primary care unit at the large academic center and focus on their challenge in balancing staff time with quality of care through a redesign of their system. We employ optimization models to reschedule providers’ sessions to improve the patient flow, and through that, a more balanced work-level for the support staff.
This work was performed with the MIT/MGH Collaboration.